Recently one can't turn on the television, open a newspaper, or launch a news website without seeing some talk about gay marriage. It seems to be a hot topic on everyone's tongue from activists to conservatives to politicians. I truly feel as if we're in the middle of a huge change in our country that one day we will look back on as a turning point in our history. But to get there, it takes people discussing it, forming views, and hopefully...changing a few as well.
Even reality TV gets in to it with the show "What Would You Do?" They want to see how people in America react to so many different situations and many times, it is something gay-themed. From a gay service man returning from overseas to a man proposing to another. That one (that just aired) really was amazing in that the 15 strangers they 'tested', only ONE showed any annoyance to the gay proposal. Others seemed happy for the couple (taking photos, applauding) or at least stating they have a right to the same happiness.
Today I saw "Priscilla Queen of the Desert" on Broadway again. (I'm happy to report that I enjoyed it even more this time and felt the leads have grown into an incredible ensemble of 'family'.) For those that do not know, it is about three drag queens that head across Australia so that one can go and see his son. (Yes son - this was based on a movie from the 90s when gay and father were not said in the same sentence as much as we hear in 2012.) What really got to me today (especially for a matinee audience which historically is always older people), was the response of the crowd to not only enjoying the show, but the tender moments as well. I actually witnessed an older gentleman across the aisle from me wiping away tears when the father/son had a poignant scene.
Are we as a society becoming more understanding? Do these moments ring true to people or is it because it's on stage or in a movie that it can affect people? I hope that it really is more people are beginning to see that everyone deserves happiness. Gay or straight: it doesn't matter. Obviously straight people (at least Hollywood) are not showing us that they know how to handle marriage. If its about the sanctity, then perhaps people should not be able to toss marriage aside so lightly. But I hope as the witnesses on ABC's TV show to the gay proposal or the tourists who are taking in Broadway shows see a glimpse into a world they may not know - perhaps they'll see it's really not that different. My civil union partner and I sit on the sofa, watch TV, play Words with Friends on our computers, and live life just like our heterosexual counterparts.
The Priscilla cast sings it at every show:
Whatever we deny or embrace for worse or for better,
We belong, we belong, we belong together.